This inherent separation of power is in line with Charles Hoskinson’s vision.
The Cardano Ecosystem (ADA) has a complex governance structure, not unlike the way in which American democracy operates, with its own checks and balances.
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There are three main players: the Cardano Foundation, EMURGO and IOHK; according to the Foundation’s incoming CEO, Frederik Gregaard, governance will only become more complicated as more organisations join. He also said that he intends to maintain the independence of the Foundation from the founder of Cardano and CEO of IOHK, Charles Hoskinson, who was the creator of this structure in the first place:
„The law of the Foundation in Switzerland says that we must be independent. That is exactly why it is interesting and why Charles chose to establish it this way, because he really feels that the people who are going to protect the Cardano protocol for future generations should be independent.
The mission of the Foundation is to advance the „Cardano Protocol“. It also maintains a development company for the protocol, which is currently IOHK, although its contract expires at the end of this year. With the launch of the „Voltaire era“ scheduled for a few months from now, the community will soon vote on whether to extend the IOHK contract. In the unlikely event that IOHK does not get the endorsement of the community, another development company will be hired to fill the vacancy.
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Although in 2018 there was a serious break between the two, it seems that the relationship has since been repaired. IOHK is an independent entity, and although its main focus is on Cardano, it also works with other projects. For example, it recently proposed a couple of solutions for the Ethereum Classic. EMURGO was originally established as a risk arm of the ecosystem, but seems to have since been transformed into a wider technology company.
Gregaard accepts that Hoskinson is more than the head of the Cardano development company and that there may be times when they disagree about the direction of Cardano’s development:
„Charles initiated the project together with one of his colleagues. So there is no doubt about how brilliant he is and how visionary he is. But he is running a product company that needs to deliver products. <…> I’m sure there will be some disputes in terms of priorities and some points where we think, together with the community maybe, that we should go a bit more to the right and Charles wants to go a bit more to the left and we have to agree on that together“.
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He said that after working with Hoskinson for the last 6-12 months (as a PwC consultant), he has a good feeling about this relationship, although he does not expect it to be easy. Gregaard is a strong supporter of decentralised governance. In his opinion, this presents a viable alternative to the current state of the world, where technology giants such as Facebook and Google manipulatively exploit their users.